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Sullivan County Man Pleads to Tax Evasion

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | 10:29am

BLOUNTVILLE - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led Royce Franklin Sutphin’s no contest plea. Judge William Rogers accepted Sutphin’s plea to two counts of use tax fraud, six counts of forgery, and one count of theft over $1,000. He was sentenced to two years of probation. The judge ordered restitution in the amount of $2,332.50 to the Department of Revenue.

“The Department of Revenue has always been committed to making sure Tennessee’s tax laws and procedures are applied uniformly to ensure fairness,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “We can never allow individuals engaged in fraudulent tax activity to have a competitive advantage over honest Tennesseans.”

The department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Barry Staubus’ office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws, as well as the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2020 fiscal year, it collected $15.1 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $3.2 billion in taxes and fees for local governments.